A VILLAGE primary school is to be extended in a bid to meet the demand for school places.

Two new classrooms, a new hall and a new multi-use game area will be built at St Leonard's CE Primary School between Langho and Billington while the car park will also be extended.

The Whalley Road school was one of four identified in 2015 to have admission numbers that were 'difficult to manage'.

Education chiefs are also anticipating a shortage of primary school places over the next five years because of the significant level of housing development planned in the area.

Work is due to be carried out this year so the Ofsted-rated outstanding school can increase the number of pupils admitted to reception from 40 to 45 from September 2018.

The extension, funded by Lancashire County Council's basic need expansion programme, also includes additional stores, cloakrooms, a disabled toilet and an extended hard play area to replace the area lost to the building extension.

Kathryn Pym, headteacher, said having 45 children on the roll instead of 40 will allow them to have three classes of 15 pupils offering continuity to the youngsters as they progress through the school years.

She said: "It is going to be of huge benefit. At the moment our hall is used to capacity. Particularly in inclement weather we have issues regarding PE so to have another hall space will be wonderful.

"Our field is often out of use because of issues with drainage so a multi-use games area that will be fit for purpose will be so exciting for the children."

She said the school is completely full so to be able to offer another five places will make a difference.

At the moment, they have to juggle the numbers each year with 30 Year Three children in one class and 10 joining a year four class meaning some children do not stay with the same group throughout the school years.

"With 45 we will have three classes of 15 which makes much more sense," Mrs Pym said.

"If children know they are going to be in the same group throughout school it helps their journey.

"It is a blessing for the children in terms of how we can organise them throughout school."

She added it will also mean they will have additional space for their early years.

Richard Dugdale, an architect working on behalf of Lancashire County Council, said in a planning document that staff, who have been parking on the nearby Golf Club car park, will now be able to park at the school as the number of spaces will increase from seven to 18.